This post to slashdot by Zonk sums up my thoughts too,
As the owner of a PocketPC PDA I am a very happy camper, with wifi internet access, Skype Voip, video playback, and of course the ubiquitous mp3 playback. In an era were everyone seems to talk about the Video iPod, and the next generation of mobile devices, it leaves me wondering – I already have all those abilities in a PDA that costs about as much as an iPod. My question for Slashdot: Given that modern PDAs have almost all the functionality of these separate devices, how has Palm and Microsoft/PocketPC developers failed in making PDAs a force in this new era of portable media devices? It is the poor marketing, bad media apps, public perception, or do people simply not want an all-in-one for mobile media?
And as I expect, its horse's for course's as my dad says.
Because more functionality isn’t aways better, especially in a smaller device.
You might as well be asking why people buy screwdrivers and pliers instead of a single Leathermen.
Some more comments for thought,
PDAs might be cool toys, they do a lot that a PC can do, and you can carry it in your pocket. Pretty cool eh? But when it comes down to it, what does the device actually do? Hard to define; it can do calendars, it can do media playback, it can do telephony, it can do internet-related tasks. But on the overall, it's a very obscure device.
– Indeed, its one of the things which makes it difficult to explain to people. One moment I'm using it as a mp3 player then a video player next moment a skype or im device and at the end of the day I'm using it to take notes at a meeting. It works for me but its a hard concept to sell and it requires installing many pieces of software and some configuration.
There was lots of talk about storage too.
Unless you sprung for extra storage, the space on your PDA is measured in tens of megabytes. On an iPod, it's measured in tens of gigabytes.
I dont think that's the main issue, because the psp has equal storage levels to a modern PocketPC (1/2gig maximum). Yes its nothing compared to the 100gigs which are now possible. But I expect Flash Drive pocketpc will be arriving soon, as hard drives are still very power hungrey.
The impact of Crackberries (backberries) has also had an effect on the image of pocketpc in the business world just like how most pocketpc have moved into the mobile world. Hence the change of operating system name, WindowsCE to PocketPC to Windows Mobile.
As someone said,
People who make generic statements such as “PDAs have failed” are just simply wrong.